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Localization of Chip Manufacturing Rising; Taiwan to Control 48% of Global Foundry Capacity in 2022, Says TrendForce

According to TrendForce, Taiwan is crucial to the global semiconductor supply chain, accounting for a 26% market share of semiconductor revenue in 2021, ranking second in the world. Its IC design and packaging & testing industries also account for a 27% and 20% global market share, ranking second and first in the world, respectively. Firmly in the pole position, Taiwan accounts for 64% of the foundry market. In addition to TSMC possessing the most advanced process technology at this stage, foundries including UMC, Vanguard, and PSMC also have their own process advantages. Under the looming shadow of chip shortages caused by the pandemic and geopolitical turmoil in the past two years, various governments have quickly awakened to the fact that localization of chip manufacturing is necessary to avoid being cut off from chip acquisition due to logistics difficulties or cross-border shipment bans. Taiwanese companies have ridden this wave to become partners that governments around the world are eager to invite to set up factories in various locales.

Intel, Micron, and Analog Devices Join MITRE Engenuity's Semiconductor Alliance to Define Principles for Joint Research and Collaboration

Intel, Micron, Analog Devices, and MITRE Engenuity announced they have an agreement of principles to accelerate semiconductor research, development, and prototyping to build a more robust U.S. semiconductor industry, foster advanced manufacturing in the United States, and protect intellectual property amid increased global competition. This engagement signifies a commitment to collaborate on ensuring the resiliency of the industry. It establishes the Semiconductor Alliance to propose the foundation for a whole-of-nation approach for a more innovation-focused U.S. semiconductor industry and supply chain, one that ensures American innovation truly leads to American growth.

The Semiconductor Alliance, led by MITRE Engenuity, was developed from working groups in 2021, and its principles were published in a white paper on American Innovation for American Growth summarizing the Alliance's whole-of-nation call to action for a fair and objective National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC). The leading U.S. semiconductor manufacturers—Intel, Micron, and Analog Devices—and MITRE Engenuity seek engagement from industry and experts from all facets of the U.S. semiconductor ecosystem, including integrated device manufacturers; fabless chip companies; providers of infrastructure, design, and manufacturing tools; and technology innovators from industry and academia. MITRE Engenuity is built on MITRE's 60+ year history of serving as an independent, objective bridge and convener of government, industry, and academia, bringing together the whole of nation to tackle some of the biggest challenges to our national security.

AMD and Intel Stop Processor Shipments to Russia and Belarus

Unless you have been living under a rock, chances are you are following the news about the Russia-Ukraine war disputes. Not to get too political, we are here to report about your favorite rivals—AMD and Intel—officially stopping the delivery of processors to Russia and Belarus. Firstly, an AMD representative told PCWorld that "Based on sanctions placed on Russia by the United States and other nations, at this time AMD is suspending its sales and distribution of our products into Russia and Belarus. It is all AMD products and products we power (PCs, etc) in Russia and Belarus." Additionally, Intel posted an official quote, which you can find below.
IntelIntel condemns the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and we have suspended all shipments to customers in both Russia and Belarus. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this war, including the people of Ukraine and the surrounding countries and all those around the world with family, friends and loved ones in the region.

"We are working to support all of our employees through this difficult situation, especially those with close ties to this region. We have launched an employee donation and matching campaign through the Intel Foundation that has already raised over $1.2 million for relief efforts, and we are proud of the work our teams in surrounding areas including Poland, Germany and Romania are doing to aid refugees. We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and the global community in calling for an immediate end to this war and a swift return to peace.

Intel Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2021 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors approved a cash dividend increase of five percent to $1.46 per share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.365 per share on the company's common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record as of February 7.

"Q4 represented a great finish to a great year. We exceeded top-line quarterly guidance by over $1 billion and delivered the best quarterly and full-year revenue in the company's history," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO. "Our disciplined focus on execution across technology development, manufacturing, and our traditional and emerging businesses is reflected in our results. We remain committed to driving long-term, sustainable growth as we relentlessly execute our IDM 2.0 strategy."

Shipments of Notebooks in 2022 Expected to Reach 238 Million Units, Says TrendForce

Due to the pandemic, laptops shipments reached a record high of 240 million units in 2021, according to TrendForce's investigations. However, the market has been abuzz recently and, as the global population of the fully vaccinated has exceeded 50%, relevant demand driven by the pandemic is expected to gradually weaken. Shipment volume will decrease by 3.3% year-on-year, revised down slightly to 238 million units. Chromebooks will account for approximately 12.3% of shipment volume, though it accounted for approximately 15.2% in 2021. The momentum of shipments has slowed down significantly which indicates that demand derived from the economic effect of remote working and teaching has subsided.

Intel Announces Intent to Take Mobileye Public

With the full support of Intel's board of directors, Intel today announced its intention to take Mobileye public in the United States in mid-2022 via an initial public offering (IPO) of newly issued Mobileye stock. The move will unlock the value of Mobileye for Intel shareholders by creating a separate publicly traded company and will build on Mobileye's successful track record and serve its expanded market.

Intel will remain the majority owner of Mobileye, and the two companies will continue as strategic partners, collaborating on projects as they pursue the growth of computing in the automotive sector. The share of semiconductors is expected to be 20% of a premium vehicle's total bill-of-materials (BOM) by 20301. The Mobileye executive team will remain, with Prof. Amnon Shashua continuing as the company's CEO. Recently acquired Moovit as well as Intel teams working on lidar and radar development and other Mobileye projects will be aligned as part of Mobileye.

NREL Acquires Next-Generation High Performance Computing System Based on NVIDIA Next-Generation GPU

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to build its third-generation, high performance computing (HPC) system, called Kestrel. Named for a falcon with keen eyesight and intelligence, Kestrel's moniker is apropos for its mission—to rapidly advance the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) energy research and development (R&D) efforts to deliver transformative energy solutions to the entire United States.

Installation of the new system will begin in the fall of 2022 in NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) data center. Kestrel will complement the laboratory's current supercomputer, Eagle, during the transition. When completed—in early 2023—Kestrel will accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy research at a pace and scale more than five times greater than Eagle, with approximately 44 petaflops of computing power.

Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum Merge to Create Quantinuum - The Largest Quantum Computing Company

The two leading companies in the quantum computing industry have combined to create Quantinuum, thereby accelerating the development of quantum computing and innovation of quantum technologies in a platform agnostic manner to deliver real-world quantum-enabled solutions for some of the most intractable problems that classical computers have not been able to solve.

Cambridge Quantum, the pioneer in quantum software, operating systems, and cybersecurity, and Honeywell Quantum Solutions, which has built the highest-performing quantum hardware, based on trapped-ion technologies, today announced they have satisfied all of the conditions required to close the business combination and formed the new company, now called Quantinuum.

IBM Unveils Breakthrough 127-Qubit Quantum Processor

IBM today announced its new 127-quantum bit (qubit) 'Eagle' processor at the IBM Quantum Summit 2021, its annual event to showcase milestones in quantum hardware, software, and the growth of the quantum ecosystem. The 'Eagle' processor is a breakthrough in tapping into the massive computing potential of devices based on quantum physics. It heralds the point in hardware development where quantum circuits cannot be reliably simulated exactly on a classical computer. IBM also previewed plans for IBM Quantum System Two, the next generation of quantum systems.

Quantum computing taps into the fundamental quantum nature of matter at subatomic levels to offer the possibility of vastly increased computing power. The fundamental computational unit of quantum computing is the quantum circuit, an arrangement of qubits into quantum gates and measurements. The more qubits a quantum processor possesses, the more complex and valuable the quantum circuits that it can run.

US Becomes Global Bitcoin Mining Leader

The United States has now become the leading country in cryptocurrency mining operations, following China's mining ban and subsequent exodus of its mining operators to less dangerous waters. According to figures published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, US-based miners reached a 35.4% share in overall bitcoin hashrate in July this year - up 17% compared to April, and only a month after China's move to ban all domestic cryptocurrency mining operations. In the months since, China's Bitcoin hash rate control declined from 44% in May of this year down to 0% as early as July - a far cry from its September 2019 high, which saw the country hold around 75% of the global mining hashrate.

As is usually the case, one country's loss equates to another's "gain", and the same is true for mining operations following the China ban. The US may have become the biggest player in this particular court, but any country with cheap electricity that allows for profits increases is fair game. Countries like Kazakhstan went from 8% to 18% in the same period, claiming the current second spot in overall hashrate, while Russia has now claimed third place after reaching an 11% share - rising from 6.8% three months earlier. It remains to be seen whether these mining operation relocations will see the US face the same migratory phenomenons as China did back when mining wasn't banned: operators spent the dry season on regions like Xinjiang in late autumn, winter and spring, migrating to regions with significant temporary overcapacities in low-cost hydropower, like Sichuan, between May and October during the 'wet season'. The impact of this mining relocation to the US in its power delivery infrastructure (if any) remains to be fully understood.

Intel Wins US Government Project to Develop Leading-Edge Foundry Ecosystem

The U.S. Department of Defense, through the NSTXL consortium-based S2MARTS OTA, has awarded Intel an agreement to provide commercial foundry services in the first phase of its multi-phase Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes - Commercial (RAMP-C) program. The RAMP-C program was created to facilitate the use of a U.S.-based commercial semiconductor foundry ecosystem to fabricate the assured leading-edge custom and integrated circuits and commercial products required for critical Department of Defense systems. Intel Foundry Services, Intel's dedicated foundry business launched this year, will lead the work.

"One of the most profound lessons of the past year is the strategic importance of semiconductors, and the value to the United States of having a strong domestic semiconductor industry. Intel is the sole American company both designing and manufacturing logic semiconductors at the leading edge of technology. When we launched Intel Foundry Services earlier this year, we were excited to have the opportunity to make our capabilities available to a wider range of partners, including in the U.S. government, and it is great to see that potential being fulfilled through programs like RAMP-C." -Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO.

Intel Expects New US Fab Investment to Cost $60 to $120 billion

In an interview with the Washington Post, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger shared some details on the company's plans to expand its foundry operations in the US. As part of the company's IDM 2.0 plan, the company aims to construct a new cutting edge fabrication complex that will cover both wafer manufacturing and advanced packaging technologies. While the final factory location still hasn't been disclosed, the company said it plans to build the complex in close proximity to universities - a way to facilitate the hiring process of qualified personnel and, perhaps, of establishing joint research and development. Intel expects this foundry complex to cost between $60 and $120 billion.
Intel CEO Pat GelsingerWe are looking broadly across the U.S.. This would be a very large site, so six to eight fab modules, and at each of those fab modules, between 10- and $15 billion. It's a project over the next decade on the order of $100 billion of capital, 10,000 direct jobs. 100,000 jobs are created as a result of those 10,000, by our experience. So, essentially, we want to build a little city."

MONTECH Keep Cool Giveaway: Win a Slick PC Case or Cooler

MONTECH and TechPowerUp bring you a chance to win one of nine pieces of hardware to help your rig Keep Cool. Open to contestants from the Continental United States, Nine lucky winners get a chance to win from a prize-pool of three MONTECH Air 100 ARGB Black cases, three MONTECH Air 100 Lite White cases, and three MONTECH Air Cooler 210. The Air 100 series of MONTECH offer premium features and room for a top-performing Micro-ATX gaming PC build. The Air 100 ARGB Black includes four addressable-RGB fans; while the 100 Lite White comes with all-white interiors, and two included fans, and plenty of room to grow from. To participate, simply fill up a short form that helps us get back to you if you've won. Good Luck!

MONTECH and TechPowerUp Keep Cool Giveaway

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and GlobalWafers Partnering to Expand Semiconductor Wafer Supply

GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF ), the global leader in feature-rich semiconductor manufacturing, and GlobalWafers Co., Ltd. (GWC), one of the top silicon wafer manufacturers in the world, today announced an $800 million agreement to add 300 mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer manufacturing and expand existing 200 mm SOI wafer production at GWC's MEMC facility in O'Fallon, Missouri.

The silicon wafers produced by GWC are key input materials for semiconductors and an integral part of GF's supply chain. The wafers are used in GF's multi-billion dollar manufacturing facilities, or fabs, where they are used to manufacture the computer chips that are pervasive and vital to the global economy. Today's announcement expands GF's domestic silicon wafer supply from the United States.

TSMC Pressured by U.S. Government for More Chips to Automakers

The United States Department of Commerce is reportedly pressing TSMC to meet chip orders by automobile manufacturers. The ongoing chip shortage threatens to derail production of automobiles by leading car makers, and is a major source of worry for one of America's largest manufacturing industries. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that the Department has asked TSMC to prioritize orders by U.S. automobile companies in the near-term.

Secretary Raimondo, speaking at the Council of the Americas event on Tuesday, said that critical supply chains of the semiconductor industry required "re-shoring" (return of manufacturing to the US soil). "We're working hard to see if we can get the Taiwanese and TSMC, which is a big company there, to, you know, prioritize the needs of our auto companies since there's so many American jobs on the line," she said, responding to a question by a General Motors executive. Later on Wednesday, TSMC responded, stating "TSMC has been working with all parties to alleviate the automotive chip supply shortage, we understand it is a shared concern of the worldwide automotive industry."

Samsung to Build $17 Billion Silicon Manufacturing Plant in the US by 2023

Samsung has been one of the world's biggest foundries and one of three big players still left in the leading-edge semiconductor process development and manufacturing. However, the Korean giant is always seeking ways to improve its offerings, especially for Western customers. Today, it is reported that Samsung has reportedly talked with regulators in Texas, New York, and Arizona about building a $17 billion silicon manufacturing facility in the United States. The supposed factory is going to be located near Austin, Texas, and is supposed to offer around 1800 jobs. If the deal is approved and Samsung manages to complete the project on time, the factory is supposed to start mass production in Q4 of 2023.

What process is Samsung going to manufacture in the new fab? Well, current speculations are pointing out to the 3 nm node, with Samsung's special GAAFET (Gate All Around FET) technology tied to the new node. The fab is also expected to make use of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for manufacturing. Samsung already has a facility in the US called S2, however, that will not be upgraded as it is still serving a lot of clients. Instead, the company will build new facilities to accommodate the demand for newer nodes. It is important to note that Samsung will not do any R&D work in the new fab, and the company will only manufacture the silicon there.

Worldwide Server Market Revenue Grew 2.2% Year Over Year in the Third Quarter of 2020, According to IDC

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, vendor revenue in the worldwide server market grew 2.2% year over year to $22.6 billion during the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20). Worldwide server shipments declined 0.2% year over year to nearly 3.1 million units in 3Q20. Volume server revenue was up 5.8% to $19.0 billion, while midrange server revenue declined 13.9% to $2.6 billion, and high-end servers declined by 12.6% to $937 million.

"Global demand for enterprise servers was a bit muted during the third quarter of 2020 although we did see areas of strong demand," said Paul Maguranis, senior research analyst, Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies at IDC. "From a regional perspective, server revenue within China grew 14.2% year over year. And worldwide revenues for servers running AMD CPUs were up 112.4% year over year while ARM-based servers grew revenues 430.5% year over year, albeit on a very small base of revenue."

Huawei to Enter Silicon Manufacturing Business without US Technologies

Semiconductor manufacturing has been the latest victim of the recent trade war between China and the United States. With the US imposing sanctions on Chinese manufacturers, they have not been able to use any US technology without the approval of the US government. That has caused many companies to lose customers and switch their preferred foundry. The US government has also decided to sanction a Chinese company Huawei from accessing any US-technology-based manufacturing facilities, thus has prevented the Chinese company from manufacturing its chips in the facilities of TSMC. Left without almost any way to keep up with the latest semiconductor technology, Huawei is reportedly working on its own manufacturing facilities.

According to the Financial Times, Huawei is about to enter domestic silicon production with its partner company Shanghai IC R&D. And a big note here is that the manufacturing facility will not use any US technology. The production is allegedly going to start as soon as the end of this year, and the first process that will come out the door will be a rather outdated 45 nm node. The company is expecting to move on to a more advanced 28 nm node by the end of next year. While the capacities are unknown, we can assume that it will be enough for the company's purposes. With this move, Huawei will be 100% independent from any US influence and will own the complete vector of software and hardware, that is a custom made design by the company.
Huawei R&D Center

NXP Advances 5G with New Gallium Nitride Fab in Arizona

NXP Semiconductors N.V. today announced the grand opening of its 150 mm (6-inch) RF Gallium Nitride (GaN) fab in Chandler, Arizona, the most advanced fab dedicated to 5G RF power amplifiers in the United States. The new internal factory combines NXP's expertise as the industry leader in RF power and its high-volume manufacturing know-how, resulting in streamlined innovation that supports the expansion of 5G base stations and advanced communication infrastructure in the industrial, aerospace and defense markets.

US Government Could Blacklist Chinese Chipmaker SMIC

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering adding to Chinese chipmaker SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation) to the trade blacklist of Chinese companies, restricting the company of doing any business with the United States and/or with any of its affiliates. The original report comes from Reuters and it states that the move came from Pentagon after considering whatever SMIC should be placed on a blacklist. It is so far unclear if other US agencies support the decision, however, it should be public in the near future. The company has received the news on Saturday and it was "in complete shock" about the decision. Shortly after the news broke, SMIC stock has fallen as much as 15% amid the possible blacklist. If SMIC would like to continue working with American suppliers, it would need to seek a difficult-to-obtain license from the government.

Update 28th September: The United States government hasofficially imposed sanctions on the Chinese chipmaker SMIC. The company is now under US sanctions and is placed on a trade blacklist.

NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion, Creating World's Premier Computing Company for the Age of AI

NVIDIA and SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG) today announced a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire Arm Limited from SBG and the SoftBank Vision Fund (together, "SoftBank") in a transaction valued at $40 billion. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to NVIDIA's non-GAAP gross margin and non-GAAP earnings per share.

The combination brings together NVIDIA's leading AI computing platform with Arm's vast ecosystem to create the premier computing company for the age of artificial intelligence, accelerating innovation while expanding into large, high-growth markets. SoftBank will remain committed to Arm's long-term success through its ownership stake in NVIDIA, expected to be under 10 percent.

TechPowerUp and Montech Announce Summer Giveaway

TechPowerUp partners with Montech to bring you the TechPowerUp-Montech Summer Giveaway. Montech is an emerging AAA gaming PC hardware brand with top-tier gaming PC cases, power supplies, case fans, and gaming peripherals, with a vast product line under development. The company made its intentions crystal with premium cases, 80 Plus Gold-rated full-modular power supplies, and case fans with the latest impeller and bearing designs. As part of the TechPowerUp-Montech Summer Giveaway, nine lucky winners from the Continental United States stand a chance to bring home some cool Montech gear.

Three lucky winners get a Montech Air X (black+mesh) mid-tower case, each, that packs a pair of large 200 mm front intake fans that build positive air pressure along with a rear 120 mm exhaust, and give you a wealth of storage, cable-management, and liquid cooling preparation. Three other lucky winners get a Montech Gamma II 650 W, a top-shelf full-modular power supply that's 80 Plus Gold rated, offers APFC, DC-to-DC switching, flat ribbon cables, and a noise optimized 120 mm fan. Lastly, three lucky winners get a Montech Beta 550 W PSU, which covers all the bases for a gaming PC, providing all the essential connectivity for a stable single GPU build, with 80 Plus Bronze efficiency. So that's 9 lucky winners, and 9 pieces of Montech hardware to go. Open for entries from the Continental US (excluding Alaska), the giveaway runs till July 30. To participate, simply fill up a short form that helps us contact you if you've won.

For more information and to participate, visit this page.

Samsung Provides One-Stop Foundry Design Environment with the Launch of SAFE Cloud Design Platform

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced the launch of 'Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem (SAFE ) Cloud Design Platform (CDP)' for fabless customers, in collaboration with Rescale, a leader in high performance computing (HPC) applications in the cloud. The key highlight feature of Samsung foundry's first SAFE Cloud Design Platform is that it provides a virtual environment to design chips in the cloud. By accessing this platform through the cloud, customers can immediately start designing at anytime and anywhere.

To maximize customers' design convenience, SAFE CDP supports a very secure design condition that has verified with cloud companies. In addition, customers can utilize various Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools offered by multiple vendors such as Ansys, Cadence, Mentor, a Siemens business and Synopsys. Gaonchips, one of Samsung Foundry's Design Solution Partners, has already tested the SAFE CDP on its 14 nm automotive project using Cadence's Innovus Implementation System and has successfully reduced its design run-time by 30 percent compared to current on-premise execution.

Samsung Expands its Foundry Capacity with A New Production Line in Pyeongtaek

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced plans to boost its foundry capacity at the company's new production line in Pyeongtaek, Korea, to meet growing global demand for cutting-edge extreme ultraviolet (EUV) solutions.

The new foundry line, which will focus on EUV-based 5 nanometer (nm) and below process technology, has just commenced construction this month and is expected to be in full operation in the second half of 2021. It will play a pivotal role as Samsung aims to expand the use of state-of-the-art process technologies across a myriad of current and next generation applications, including 5G, high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI).

U.S. Further Tightens Tech Export Regulations for China

The United States Government on Monday announced a new set of rules for U.S. companies exporting technology to Chinese firms directly or indirectly associated with the Chinese military, according to a Reuters report. The vagueness of what constitutes a Chinese entity that could supply derived technology over to the military could create confusion and uncertainty.

The new trade regime would see U.S. companies requiring to obtain a license to export technology to China. The U.S. also did away with exceptions to older rules that allowed U.S. firms to export to civilian Chinese companies without a license. "It is important to consider the ramifications of doing business with countries that have histories of diverting goods purchased from U.S. companies for military applications," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. The new rules will also require U.S. companies to file declarations of goods exported to China, Russia, and Venezuela, regardless of value.
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